Unfortunately, I’ve dated a lot of cheap men in my life. I’m certainly not proud of this fact and it I think a lot of it has to do with self worth. I also think the lines for young women are blurred even more today than they were when I was in my 20s. But that still doesn’t mean you should date a man who splits everything 50/50 or won’t take you out and pay. As one of my eloquent cheap ex-boyfriends tried to argue, I was an “independent woman” and that I should pay when we go out, even though he seemed to conveniently forget that I cooked dinner for him every week and he never once brought over a bottle of wine. I got over him (finally) after we went on a ski weekend together and after we had split everything down the middle, he had the nerve to ask me for gas money. It was the last straw. But here’s what I also have found about men like these: when they aren’t generous with their money, they won’t open their hearts either. It’s weird how this behavior seems to go hand in hand. My dad, a very wise man, says, “character counts.” The way a man treats his money and how he spends it on you (or doesn’t) is a key insight into his character. I know a lot of young men will make the same argument as my ex-boyfriend (who was in his 40s, by the way) but don’t fall for it. Cheap is as cheap does. And trust me, it still isn’t easy for me to let a guy pay. Those moments while the check sits on the table cause me major anxiety and I feel like I have to do something like offer to “help” or pay the tip. I’ve done both of those things. But I’ve found when I didn’t do either, I felt much better. If the guy really cares about you, he will, too. So I’ve finally sworn off of cheap men because it’s not worth going out with a guy knowing you can treat yourself better than he can.
Word to the wise: Cheap men are a dime a dozen and it pays to find the ones who aren’t. If you’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places, this is the right place to start. And here’s a few more thoughts on this topic:
Do you agree with the correlation of man’s heart to his wallet? Ever dated a cheap guy? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”